Hi, legend! All Hell’s Breaking Loose is your 15th studio album. How do you keep things fresh and exciting while staying true to your sound after so many years of making music?
Hi! Yes indeed… crazy huh? We just really love challenging ourselves by trying to top ourselves with each successive album… and so far it’s working!
How did you approach writing and recording this album compared to your earlier releases?
Actually this album’s process was very similar to the last couple… except this time Mike Heller our drummer was “in at the ground floor” so to speak and was involved with the writing and contributed a lot.
“Go For The Gold” is the lead single from All Hell’s Breaking Loose. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the song and how it represents the album as a whole?
I’d read something about this concept that in order to have any form of mastery of a craft you needed to put in around 10,000 hours of work… so I came up with the line “10,000 hours was never enough” and used that once I had the title… then it kinda writes itself lol – I guess it describes our philosophy- balls out, all guns blazing!!! It’s perfectly encapsulates the mission statement of the album so was an obvious choice for the 1st single.
What was it like recording at Heaven and Heller Studios in Los Angeles, and how did it affect the sound of the album?
It was really great… Mike did a phenomenal job engineering the recording and after all the back and forth we did on “Metal City” it was nice to just have the 3 of us doing this and knuckling down to do the job!
Can you take us through your creative process and how you develop your songs from initial ideas to finished products?
Everyone will come up with riffs… ideas… even broad song concepts… I will usually curate these and demo the rough songs… work on lyrics… kick them back to the guys who will tear them back down and we will basically just try to improve anything that’s not 100%!! But at the end of the day there’s always a 25/30% area where there’s some crazy improvisational element… we will just “go for it” and see what happens… often that’s where the magic is!!
What do you hope listeners will take away from All Hell’s Breaking Loose?
A kick-ass modern sounding album with a classic metal mentality! All killer – no filler!
RAVEN has been around for 49 years. Looking back, what are some of your proudest moments as a band?
Way too many to count! Up there is the recent Zazula tribute show in Florida with Metallica last November… and being inducted into the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame back in January!
How do you balance incorporating new elements into your music while staying true to your classic sound?
We are pretty open to anything as long as it’s not gimmicky and as long as it fits… Mike brought a lot of crazy things into the mix such as blast beats… and if it works… we use it!
What do you think sets RAVEN apart from other bands in the metal genre?
Pretty much everything about us lol! We are a 3 piece so that brings out an improv element to what we do either on record or live… we are entertaining and out on a 100% action packed live show when most people of our age are playing bingo!!!!
How has the metal scene changed since you first started playing music, and how have you adapted to those changes?
The business has changed so much… people make more money selling shirts than CDs… so the live element is a lot more important now… which suits us fine!
You’ve influenced many bands in the thrash/speed metal genre, including Metallica and Anthrax. What’s it like to see your impact on music history?
It’s very humbling & very cool to hear those guys and many others compliment us like that… certainly motivates us to stay the course & keep pushing!
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable moment from your time on the road touring?
I remember us running like lunatics down the stairs and out of our hotel in Colombia as we were in the middle of an 8.5 earthquake!!
You’ve worked with different drummers over the years. What do you think Mike Heller brings to the band that sets him apart from other drummers?
His energy and enthusiasm are infectious… his technical ability is frightening… and that brings out the best in us!
Your music often incorporates elements of humor and fun. How do you balance that with the heavier themes and sounds of metal?
Metal doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for sure… we do have that vein of rock and roll in our DNA and certainly are Amateur comedians!!! It helps set us apart and after all… if we aren’t having fun playing it… why would someone enjoy that?
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians looking to make it in the music industry?
just try to do your own thing … and play live as nothing else will improve you as well or as fast!
It was a pleasure speaking with you!
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